Rogers / Beach Senate race heating up
by Kristal Dixon
kdixon@mdjonline.com
July 25, 2012 03:09 AM | 3771 views | 8 8 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — The campaign between Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) and his challenger Brandon Beach continues to take a nasty turn as complaints and mailers against both candidates escalate.

Both Rogers and Beach are the subject of ethics complaints filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

Towne Lake resident Colleen Manuel last week submitted her complaint to the commission, which it received on July 18.

Manuel alleges Rogers, along with other incumbent Republican state legislators, benefited from the Georgia Republican Senate Caucus Promotion Political Action Committee.

The PAC has come under scrutiny as it is actually registered as an independent committee, but has been raising money to promote incumbent senate Republicans faced with primary challengers.

Manuel did not return repeated phone calls and emails by press time.

Rogers said he hasn’t received any notice from the commission about Manuel’s complaint and criticized the complaint as not factual.

Beach has also been slapped with an ethics complaint.

Macedonia resident Jeff Whitmire filed the complaint with the state on Monday, alleging Beach has not accounted for advertising he’s done on Facebook and in the My Woodstock Monthly magazine.

Whitmire alleges the magazine was printed and distributed before the June 30 campaign disclosure deadline.

He also alleges Beach’s Facebook advertising began in May, and those disclosures were not reported for the June 30 reporting deadline.

Whitmire said he was tired of the “bending and stretching” of the rules Beach, as well as other politicians have done in the name of ethics rules.

“To be honest, I’m fed up with Washington and I’m fed up with crony politicians,” he said. “And I don’t like this Chicago style politics. I’m looking to see if there’s something bigger behind this.”

Beach took out a $500 full-page ad in the My East Canton and a $50 back cover advertisement for the My Woodstock publications.

He noted he didn’t receive the invoices for both advertisements until after he submitted his June 30 campaign disclosure report to the state.

Beach said he paid both advertisements on July 1 and those will be reflected on the Aug. 31 disclosures.

The candidate said he paid the Lilburn-based Washington Political Group, LLC, $10,650 in May and $10,876.89 in June for political consulting fees, which he said included handling his social media accounts and advertising on Facebook.

Both expenditures are listed on Beach’s June 30 reports.

Beach called Whitmire’s complaint “frivolous.”

“We’re paying our bills and we’ve done everything by the book,” he said.

Both campaigns are also accused of engaging in mudslinging.

Rogers’ campaign has been accused of attacking Beach on his role in the Georgia 400 tolls.

A mailer produced by the anti-TSPLOST organization Traffic Truth is utilizing false newspaper headlines, noting the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce CEO has “failed to stop the Georgia 400 tolls” and “Beach sponsors party for largest tax increase in Georgia history.”

The first made-up headline refers to the upcoming regional transportation sales tax referendum voters across the state will consider on July 31.

The flier also contains a photo of a cow’s rear end and is titled “tell Brandon Beach to stop ‘milking’ us dry!”

Beach has stated he’s in support of the referendum, commonly referred to as the TSPLOST.

Beach noted he didn’t attend the meeting in which then Gov. Sonny Perdue called for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s board to approve extending the tolls.

He added if he were at the meeting, he would have voted against extending the tolls.

He also said he “didn’t vote for the largest tax increase in Georgia’s history” and added Rogers actually supported the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, the legislation allowing the referendum to go on the ballot across the state.

“He has full responsibility for what’s on the ballot next Tuesday,” Beach said, referring to Rogers.

One mailer criticizes Rogers for his involvement in the controversial loan he received to remodel the Oglethorpe Inn in Calhoun.

The senator, along with U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, were sued by the former Bartow County Bank in 2010 for failure to make payments on a loan they took out in 2007 to buy and renovate the hotel.

The pair took out a loan of $2.3 million in 2007, but later only had to repay half — $1.2 million — of the debt owed on the loan, according to news reports at the time.

Rogrs said earlier this year the suit by the bank was filed after he and Graves sold their shares in the corporation, and a counter-suit was filed against the bank for breach of contract.

Additionally, the ownership of the property never changed hands it was always owned by the corporation, Rogers said. “I simply sold my stock in the corporation.”

Rogers also said that the settlement satisfied all parties. A confidentiality agreement was also put into place to prevent both parties from discussing the specifics of the settlement.

The bank’s former CEO had been quoted as saying the failure to repay the loan contributed to the bank’s failure.

It also slams Rogers for his alleged connections to John Letcher Edens, the man Rogers and Graves transferred the loan to.

Edens, along with his son Jonathon Edward Edens, were both arrested and charged with theft in Cartersville last July.

Rogers referred to the mailer as “Chicago-style gutter politics” that “shows the desperation of my opponents and the lack of any positive ideas for Georgia.”

Rogers also said he believed the flyer contains false accusations and plans to “consider all potential legal action after the conclusion of the political campaign.”
Comments
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integrity2012
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July 29, 2012
Chip Rogers is a good and honest man.He has worked tirelessly for ga. taxpayers..He is no Perfect Because politics is not perfect..He dosen,t Support T-Splost because Like Obama care what looked like a good Idea was Munipulated and twisted touches to much,costs to much and Misses its intended Target..As far as brandon beach goes Get real..He is a RHINO at best.He is a *GDOT buracrat.that would be putting a bandit in charge of the bank.NONONONONO
P.S. 2012
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July 26, 2012
It will be a sad day in this state when we settle for a person we know to have contributed to the failure of a bank, denied his support of T-Splost and seeks to fund an education for the most vulnerable citizens of the state using a formula which includes using Games of Chance as one of the mechanisms. Please...Anybody But Chip!
Strange Stuff
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July 25, 2012
We all need to do the... "Chippy, Chippy, Shake"

He was for the T-SPLOST, before he was against it.

There is no lament in his position... He never had the foresight to envision that a regional transportation project list would be a political and business developer boondoggle.

It's time to shake things up in GA politics and Rogers needs to go.

His self serving mission to destroy education in this state is well known. He's led the senate whereby GA is now delivering less funding to local school districts, yet he wants the state to have authority over what schools can be approved in local communities.

Enough is enough with Chippy!

Good riddance!
Three Jack
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July 25, 2012
strange wrote, "His self serving mission to destroy education in this state is well known."

If you want your children to be educated based on your street address, then Chip is not for you.

If you want to be a responsible parent willing to look around for the best educational choice for your children, then vote Chip Rogers.

Our government education system has produced so many mindless people like strange that it is now so much harder to offer choices...people just want a free daycare for 9 months a year
TIC
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July 25, 2012
Brandon Beach is a dullard.

Worse than that he has been a part of the worst performing bureacracy in Georgia.

The Georgia Department of Confusion. Excuse me. Transportation.

Chip Rogers is no prize, but he is light years ahead of Brandon Beach.
Beach Failed to Vote
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July 25, 2012
Mr. Beach admitted at a Fulton County forum that he did not call in to vote because he was out of the time zone...even though it was made available to him vote. It's disappointing that over two years has passed and Georgians are still paying the 400 toll. Thanks alot Mr. Beach for failing to vote...it's cost us millions for a paid for road.
Rogers should go
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July 25, 2012
Rogers needs to go!
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